In my opinion, you can never have too much indie music. So I have been excited to see Facedown Record's progress moving into the genre. Their latest endeavor is New York band Abel, who's new EP The Honest Love was released on Facedown's Dreamt Music imprint.
The Honest Love is an appropriately titled album. The guys in Abel sing a lot about love, and with a lot of honesty. The EP starts off with "Dressed Like a King," a somewhat meandering track with some soul influence. The vocals are slightly lower and harsher than typical indie fare. If you listen closely, you might even be reminded of Needtobreathe. Each track has a nice layer of shimmery guitars in the background, interspersed with some keys. Unfortunately, some of the tracks seem somewhat aimless. The songwriting is not as tight as it could be and it's hard to get a feeling for where the music is going. Fortunately, there are also songs like the title track, which is equal parts mellow and powerful. "The Honest Love" is the clear highlight of the album.
In another break from indie trends, Abel's lyrical approach is overtly Christian, and even worshipful sometimes. "The Honest Love" speaks of the cross and the true love of God. "The World Sings," while being just a bit too random musically, is heavy and hard lyrically. At one point, the band admits "We are cowards, afraid to speak the name of God. And we have murdered, with dirty hands as simple men unworthy of our crowns." Later, we hear the lyrics, "Though I am trying, I'm not like Christ at all. I'm not like Christ at all." Again, honesty is clearly important to the guys in Abel.
The Honest Love is a nice little taste of this new band, and I'm interested to hear more. In general, the music is pleasant and the lyrics are strong. This is an EP worth checking out.- Review date: 9/30/09, written by Timothy Estabrooks of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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